Maoists stall development works in Rolpa

Himalayan News Service

Dang, June 4:

Construction and development works in Rolpa are stalled in district due to the sanctions imposed by Maoists on government-run development projects in districts. For instance, the Maoists have stopped the construction of the road from Ghorahi to Swargadwari and have also halted repair and maintenance work from Kimichaur to Satdobato of Rolpa. Ram Thapa, son of the contractor of Kimichaur-Satdobato project, said, "The Maoists ordered a halt to the work by 12 noon today. But I have disregarded their diktat in order to complete work on the dangerous curve in the Bhaluwang-Liwang road." "The Maoists have also announced a fine of Rs 1600 against those who do not obey their orders," Thapa added.

"Now, I have stopped the work and the labourers will surely ask for their payment. Total work of around Rs 0.2 million has been done and I have informed the road division office about it. If they do pay, I will have to pay the labourers from my own pocket," he grumbled.

Thapa added the Maoists had declared that everyone would have to take permission from the Magar Autonomous Region Government before starting any work.

According to Thapa, Maoists also halted the construction of Lungri-Mangri Irrigation Project. A tender worth Rs 8.9 million was approved for this project, which would have facilitated thousands of locals of Rolpa and Pyuthan. Thapa clarified that while work on this project at Rolpa had stopped, in Pyuthan work was going on smoothly. Thapa said he had asked the Maoists why the work was on in Pyuthan and they had replied that their comrades in Pyuthan were "weak".

Durga Bahadur Pun Magar, principal of Suryodaya Proposed Lower Secondary School of Sulichaur, said the Rolpa DDC had promised financial help to the school to save it from landslides but work there had been halted by the Maoists. A road construction committee for Ghorahi-Swargadwari was also formed under the chairmanship of ex-mayor of Tribhuvan municipality, Amar Bahadur Daangi. Chairman Daangi said, "We have been trying to commence the road construction but have not been able to make headway with Maoists."

CDO Tej Prasad Poudel said the Maoists had no definite point of view on development and accused of adopting double standards. He said the GTZ projects in both Rolpa and Pyuthan districts were progressing.